Multi-collector ICP-MS



Plasma 2 is Nu Instruments multi-collector plasma-source mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) that we use to measure the isotopic composition of a range of different elements. The principle of the instrument is that a liquid sample is converted into an aerosol and then carried into a c. 6,000 ÂșC argon plasma that ionises the sample. The mass spectrometer then separates the ions extracted from the plasma source into their constituent masses allowing the relative proportion of the isotopes to be determined.

Plasma 2 is used to measure protactinium, radium, uranium, thorium and lead isotopes, mostly for the purpose of determining the age of past climate records, or as tracers for various processes such as seawater mixing. Plasma 2 is also used to investigate non-traditional stable isotope systems, particularly calcium and lithium.